Huff’n Puff Hot Air Balloon Rally

Sunday morning at sunrise, Harland and I waited at the edge of Lake Shawnee in Topeka for the balloons to launch.

The balloon rally, started in 1976, today attracts about 10,000 people annually.

Did you know that the hot air balloon is the oldest human carrying aircraft?

In 1782, two Frenchmen took the first hot air balloon flight. A hot air balloon can fly because the heated air inside the balloon is a lower density than the air outside the balloon, and this creates buoyancy.

The very first hot air balloons were small unmanned “air lanterns” used for military signaling by the Chinese in 80 AD.

Harland and I have been to the rally in Topeka several times.

A couple times the balloons did not launch because there was too much wind.

But this year, the breeze was just right.

And all the balloons lifted off without a hitch. They usually only fly as far as the airport north of Topeka, but one year Harland tells me they flew north all the way to our summer pasture where the cows were enjoying their summer vacations. They were spooked by the large colorful objects overhead, and ran in all directions.

Hopefully, they didn’t go over the pasture on Sunday. Cows like to be left in peace when on vacation.

For more information about the Huff’n Puff Balloon Rally, click here.


——->  Up Next: Come along with me to Old Albany Days where you’ll see old time demonstrations like making fresh apple cider on a cider press, shelling corn by hand, watching a blacksmith at work, and much more.


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